DOL Postpones Fiduciary Rule: Regulations Defining Fiduciaries Are Delayed Until June 9, 2017 and the Best Interest Contract and Principal Transaction Exemptions Are Significantly Simplified Until January 1, 2018

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - April 10, 2017

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor announced that the effective date of 2016 regulations defining “fiduciary” for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code will be deferred from April 10, 2017 until June 9, 2017. In addition, the DOL announcement temporarily modifies the “Best Interest Contract Exemption” and the “Principal Transaction Exemption” from the prohibited transaction rules so that the requirements of these exemptions will be satisfied prior to January 1, 2018 as long as the fiduciary satisfies the “impartial conduct standards.”  Accordingly, fiduciaries may qualify for these PTEs prior to January 1, 2018 even if they do not satisfy the disclosure, representation and warranty requirements of the PTEs.